Because of its brilliantly colorful but short blooming season of about 1 to 2 weeks, the Japanese cherry blossom has come to symbolize the beauty and the transience of life. The cherry blossom is also associated with Japanese nationalism and the military as a symbol of a loyal samurai who fell while serving his emperor. This belief led to the practice of pilots painting cherry blossoms on the sides of Japanese warplanes before Kamikaze missions during World War II.Know More
In Japan, "hanami" refers to the traditional custom of people gathering to enjoy the transient beauty of cherry blossoms during their short blooming season. In modern Japan, the weather bureau announces the cherry blossom blooming season in "sakura-zensen" forecasts, the literal meaning of which is "cherry blossom front." These forecasts are closely watched so that gatherings can be planned accordingly. Nighttime viewings are called "yozakura" and are accompanied by paper lanterns specifically made for the occasion. Attended by many younger people, the nighttime festivals usually cause older celebrants to shy away because of the noise and crowds.
The tradition of hanami is believed to have started in Japan in the 8th century during the Nara Period with the viewing of plum blossoms. Cherry blossoms attracted greater attention of the Japanese during the Heian Period, which lasted from 794 to 1185. Since that time, the custom of hanami has become associated primarily with cherry blossoms.Learn more about Symbolism
A Japanese dragon symbolizes wealth and power. In Japanese mythology, the dragon represents a guard of one of the cosmic directions.Full Answer >
In traditional Japanese tattoos, a cherry blossom tree or flower represents a reverence for life, the transience of being and sadness at the passing of things. However, the cherry blossom tattoo can have several other meanings.Full Answer >
Holly is a religious symbol in many parts of the world. Ancient Romans associated it with their sun god, Saturn, whilst Celtic lore believe it represents the eighth month of the Tree Calendar.Full Answer >
When presented at a funeral, a lily symbolizes restored innocence for the deceased. However, lilies of various types and colors represent other traits when presented to the living. For example, a white lily symbolizes virtue and chastity, and a Peruvian lily symbolizes friendship and devotion.Full Answer >